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Scenario-based modelling InSAR approach for mining companies.

Scenario-based modelling InSAR approach for mining companies.

Tailings dam tragedies have caused considerable personal, environmental, and economic losses in the mining industry over the last few years. Managing tailings dams has risen from an operational issue to a top priority on the agenda of most sector focused CEOs. The significant risk level, and frequency of events can challenge the industry’s license to operate in the long term. If more accidents occur, it is well understood that all stakeholders will demand immediate action from within the industry.

As a result, tailings dam failures is now often the center of attention at all major mining conferences and earnings calls. Large mining corporations have established task forces to search for options and solutions. Often companies realize there are way too many solutions, with many offerings solving specific problems but are only a part of an end-to-end solution.

Off the shelf InSAR products

Mining company organizational structures are complex. Different teams covering regions or sites, each of them having their own set of priorities and experiences with technology. This reality and its complexity makes it difficult for both vendors and mining companies to boost initiatives that can be quickly executed.

SkyGeo is acting in the heart of the industry, we have seen an increase in requests for immediate solutions, asking for “off-the-shelf” InSAR products. The demand for accessible solutions that navigate more easily through internal approval processes has led to an efficient and cost considerate approach towards InSAR usage for monitoring multiple sites. SkyGeo works from a position of affordability, always monitoring, and insightful engagements.

Social distancing constraints?

The Corona Virus crisis is another factor pushing the industry to look for remote sensing systems. Instead of people working in difficult to administer social distancing environments, satellites are not impacted by social distancing constraints.

Satellites launched in the last decade produce raw data that can be used to produce displacement time series with high temporal and spatial resolution. The latest techniques support the application of using Permanent Scatterer synthetic-aperture radar (PS-InSAR) to measure deformations of objects with high reliability. Continual improvements in the data acquisition, processing, and assessment processes create a better understanding of outcomes. We now have a new set of  business cases ready for publication.